Expressions of parent concern over the quality of third-quarter report cards for students in Madison’s elementary schools continue. Parents at Thoreau School joined parents from other schools who have wondered why their children make so little progress in the third quarter of the year in many subject areas that no information on progress can be provided to their families. Another Parent Concerned About Third-Quarter Report Cards and Can We Talk 3: 3rd Quarter Report Cards
Here is a letter from Thoreau parents to the Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Schools.
Dear Ms. Abplanalp,
Thank you for you explanatory note regarding third quarter report cards.The report cards would have been most confusing without this explanation.
Regrettably, the reports are of little or no use to us in this format. We understand that our children learn best if parents and teachers can work in partnership to educate. While we make an effort to stay in touch with our children’s teachers, we are unfortunately not always able to communicate effectively on a regular basis. Indirect communication can also be lacking. Although we appreciate that teachers are busy, much of the completed and “graded” homework that comes home does not provide much insight to our children’s progress. With a formal report, we would be able to identify problem areas and work supportively to reinforce those lessons while simultaneously identifying and rewarding successes.
If the changes students experience during the third quarter are too small to measure, it begs the question: why is there not more progress during the heart of the school year? It also leads one to question why an early release day is required to generate such incomplete reports.
The fourth quarter report cards will give us a measure of how our children performed over the course of the year, but will not be of much value as a tool for co-teaching from home. We hope that you will reconsider this reporting practice and replace it with something worthy.